Sunday, 28 December 2008

Pets - I Wouldn't Be Without Mine

Yesterday my 5th or 7th cousin or something equally as obscure (but a great bloke, no less) made a joke about us eating Poppy for Christmas dinner. The joke carried on within the immediate family and we all agreed that it had been worth fattening her up and that it would be Jack’s turn at Easter. A joke, folks…. purely a joke.

However, I know there are some people out there who don’t believe you should keep animals at all unless they’re one day going to become food as pets aren’t ‘useful’ in any way but are a drain on our personal economy; they also demand time that could be spent in a more productive manner.

While I can understand that particular philosophy, I can’t personally agree with it. Yes, my furry friends do cost a bit to keep and yes, they do take up some of my time but they give me lots back in the form of companionship, entertainment, security and more.

When it comes to cost, they don’t really drain me. I save left-overs for them to eat and top that up with dog/cat biscuits. I know some would say that isn’t good enough but mine appear to be happy enough and although Poppy’s a bit on the heavy side - a problem I’ve had with her now that she’s knocking on a bit - she’s fit and active and a happy little soul. She can still sit up and beg and stay that way for a good five minutes if she has to.

Jack… well, he’s just always hungry. Feed him and half an hour later he’s scavenging for more food. Anything in the bin? Anything on the table? Anything on the work top? Maybe if I’m careful I can nick that sandwich right out of her hand without her even noticing! I’ve tried cutting out the scraps and just giving him good biscuits and a pouch of wet food but it doesn’t help - the boy is a pig! I have to be careful not to give Poppy left-overs that have a lot of onion in, neither of them are given anything spicy and Jack isn't given pork (we don't eat tuna so no problem there). I'll also add that they don't eat scraps every day - on non-scrap days Jack's given a sachet of wet food along with his biscuits and Poppy usually has just biscuits with the occassional half tin of wet food mixed in.

Now and then they have to go to the vet but insurance doesn’t cost more than £20 a month for the two of them and for those who can’t afford it there’s always the PDSA who’ll treat up to three pets free for those on a low income.

Time? Yes, dogs need exercise although I have to admit that Poppy doesn’t get as much as she should these days. I’ve had a bad year health wise and just haven’t been able to get out much with her. Richard takes her for a run now and then but LM… well, I don’t think she has at all this year. Strangely enough, Poppy doesn’t appear to mind. She doesn’t nag to go out and is generally happy just as long as she can be with me, whether that’s sitting next to me on the sofa, poking around in the garden or snuggled up under the duvet in bed with me. Most of the time I spend on her is pleasant, it’s the kind that builds companionship between us. She needs petting, playing with, talking to and if I didn’t have that with her I’d miss it something awful. The same applies to Jack. Although cats don’t even need walking of course. If my furry friends had been of the long-haired variety then they’d need grooming but mine don’t. The occasional bath for Poppy is more than enough.

Sometimes they drive me round the twist. Jack when he’s raiding bins or messes up my wool and Poppy when she pees on the floor but we only have ourselves to blame for not letting her out in time. If only she’d bark to let us know! But when Jack’s curled up on my lap, purring away contentedly and Poppy’s laying beside me, her head on my thigh, I feel peaceful. That alone is worth what they cost me in food and more.

Sharon J xx


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Frugal Trenches said...

Your best post yet! I personally see incredibly value in pets - studies have proven that having and stroking a cat lowers your blood pressure, that pets help incease your levels of happiness etc. I think if you are an animal peron that they do more for you then you can ever put into words. I do think we need to be prepared for the work (& joys!) and have enough ££ for any incidentals that come up, but oh those rewards are so great.
As I type I have my cat curled up next to me!


Jo said...

They are really a joy to have in the house, and the feeling of companionship and unconditional love that they can bring is priceless. We have 4 cats who mean the world to us.

Jack is the son of our cat Puddin (by name and nature) and the brother to our 3 girls who, just like Jack are greedy little monsters.
But like you say, when they are purring and giving us a fuss or playing and making us laugh, they are part of our family and bring all the joy, stress and yes expense of any other family member.

We wouldn't be without them for a second :)

Oh btw - I was the very lucky recipient of the brooch that Sharon made. It is beautiful and is currently pinned to my favourite woolly hat. Thank you so much x

Richard said...

So you're saying we can't eat them after all?

Vicus Scurra said...

I suspect that the relation to whom you refer was being entirely serious and expressing concern about your wild and dangerous ways. He would also be glad that the frivolous genes had been diverted down your branch of the family tree and left his own unscathed. He would also be diligent enough to know exactly how you are related.
Whoever he is.

Lizzie said...

I wouldnt be without the animals either. Cats to keep you warm and mouse free (okay, so one mouse in 15 years and I think they brought it indoors anyway).We also have a cockatiel that goes mildly berserk if strangers approach the house and 'whizz around the perch' nuts (to varying degrees) when family members approach. Its like a door bell that tells you who is coming up the garden path. I cant imagine being without them.

Chris said...

Hello! Pets are well known as a valid and very important part of lifes. What about "pets as therapy" etc- all proven to be a vital part of people's lifes!

glad your pets give you so much joy!


Catz said...

Poppy and Jack are very sweet! Yes I agree that your pets are very theraputic, goodness alone knows how high my blood pressure would be withour Penny!

lol at Richard! Not a lot of meat on those 2 they look very fit and lean!

Sharon J said...

@ Chris. Yes, they are used in various forms of therapy and I know of several people who would be terribly lonely if it wasn't for the furry friends :)

@ Catz. Oh, they are a bit on the podgy side. Not sure they're so good for my blood pressure though because that's already far too low :)

Caroline said...

Couldn't agree more, Janet - our two cats (Ron & Reg) are so much a part of our family. Anyone who doesn't understand about pets is missing out so much - it really is their loss. Fab photos of your pets, too! Caroline x